Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spinal muscular atrophy may also affect the heart

11.08.2010
Study details new findings in mouse model of disease; highlights existing gene delivery approach that may provide therapy

Along with skeletal muscles, it may be important to monitor heart function in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These are the findings from a study conducted by Nationwide Children's Hospital and published online ahead of print in Human Molecular Genetics. This is the first study to report cardiac dysfunction in mouse models of SMA.

SMA is a debilitating neurological disease that leads to wasting away of muscles throughout the body. Historically, scientists and physicians believed that SMA only affected skeletal muscles; however, new data suggests that this genetic disease may also impact the heart.

"A few studies regarding SMA patients have implicated the involvement of the cardiovascular and the autonomic nervous system," said the study's co-author Brian Kaspar, PhD, principal investigator in the Center for Gene Therapy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "However, there have been few to no highly powered and controlled studies to determine how common these cardiovascular anomalies are in these patients."

The reports of altered blood flow and slowed heart rate in some SMA patients prompted Kaspar's team to examine whether a cardiac deficit is present in a mouse model of severe SMA, developed by Arthur Burghes, PhD, professor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, which is routinely used for drug and therapeutic-based screening.

They analyzed heart structure of the SMA mice compared with normal mice, and found that there were significant structural changes occurring in the heart of the SMA mice, along with severely impaired left-ventricular function. SMA mice also had significantly lower heart rates. After examining the underlying structure of the mouse heart cells they found it similar to the cellular structure of a heart biopsy from patient with type 3 SMA.

Kaspar's team recently developed a gene therapy approach shown to successfully deliver the missing SMN protein to SMA mice and improve neuromuscular function. Next, the team studied whether the discovered heart defects could be corrected by this gene delivery treatment. Results showed that restoring SMN levels completely restored heart rates and prevented the early development of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Pam Lucchesi, PhD, director of the Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and study co-author, says it is still not clear which mechanisms are fully responsible for the heart deficits seen in the SMA mice, but data suggests that neuronal, autonomic and developmental components all may play a role.

"Our gene delivery strategy has unique advantages in that it targets neurons within the central and peripheral nervous system as well as the cardiac tissues," said Lucchesi, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

More research is needed to determine whether the cardiac deficits are unique to the mouse or whether SMA patient of various severities have or will develop similar issues. Still, Kaspar, also on the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, says clinicians should be acutely aware of potential heart dysfunction in a subset of SMA patients.

"Increasing reports of autonomic dysfunction together with our current findings warrant increased attention to the cardiac status of SMA patients, and potentially highlights the need to investigate cardiac interventions alongside neuromuscular treatments," said Kaspar.

This research was funded in part by a 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Erin Pope | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.NationwideChildrens.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>